fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "attorneys " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr.Evelyn Ukeja" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023 06:21:46 -0700
Subject: Important Message
EVELYN UKEJA ASSOCIATES
ATTORNEYS & SOLICITORS
4/5 MOSHOOD ABIOLA AVENUE
IKEJA - LAGOS,
Dear Fund Owner
We are an Independent Legal Firm attached to the Office of the
Presidency.Our services are in need in matters concerning contract
Your name appeared in one of the weekly payment schedule Newsletters
from the Presidency and that is how we got to know about your contract
payment and all the things you have gone through. It is true that
there has been a lot of Litigation FOR and AGAINST your Contract
Payment. Some Top Government Officials want to frustrate your effort
by imposing unnecessary fees and charges,their plan is for you to
leave your Contract funds so that they will come back and claim the
funds. In Telegraphic Transfer what the APEX BANK does is to deduct
all charges and remit the balance.
You are not going to pay any fees or charges/No upfront payment. All
we need from you is a POWER OF ATTORNEY to empower us to help you
collect your Contractual Payment.We are prepared to be your
representative here in Nigeria and are ready to step on toes just to
make sure that you receive your funds. Our retaining/Professional fees
are cheap and Negotiable and can be paid after you must have received
your Payment.Our word is our bond.
Contact us immediately through the above email to
(firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to engage our services.